American Lung Association Responds to FDA Approval of Primatene Mist Asthma Inhaler

Statement of Albert Rizzo, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of the American Lung Association, in response to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of Primatene Mist:

“The new version of the asthma inhaler Primatene Mist, recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), will offer suboptimal care for the treatment of asthma. Several expert panels have produced recommendations on the treatment of patients with asthma, and none of the expert guidelines recommend the use of over-the-counter medications—like Primatene Mist—to treat asthma. In fact, the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP), an expert panel convened by the National Institutes of Health, recommends against the use of epinephrine for treatment of asthma exacerbations, recognizing that it has the potential for ‘excessive cardiac stimulation.’

“Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the airways, and while there is no cure, with the right asthma management plan with your doctor, symptoms can be controlled, allowing those with asthma to lead a full and active life. The use of over-the-counter medications like Primatene Mist to treat asthma symptoms has short-term results, but does not prevent asthma episodes. Fortunately, there are effective medications that can be used to quickly relieve asthma symptoms and minimize inflammation both in the short-term and long-term with faster results, fewer adverse effects and more effectively.

“It is oftentimes said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and the American Lung Association strongly encourages those living with asthma to seek a healthcare provider who can help them develop an asthma management plan and recommend more effective and safer medications to manage asthma symptoms – including products that help prevent asthma episodes. Effective asthma management requires strong communication between the patient and treating healthcare provider. The availability of and the reliance on an over-the-counter medication like Primatene Mist erodes that communication and relationship.”

Learn more about asthma and controlling asthma symptoms through an asthma management plan at For media interested in speaking with an expert about controlling asthma symptoms, contact the American Lung Association at [email protected] or 312-801-7628.

For more information, contact:

Allison MacMunn
[email protected]

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